Category Archives: Parenting culture

Schools are still reeling from lockdown

Parents, remember this time three years ago? In England, we just had been locked down for Christmas, waiting with clenched teeth for the start of the next school term, only for the school gates to be slammed shut for a further two months. Our kids were condemned to another run of aimless, formless days, tended […]

The real chaos of the ‘new normal’

“Generation gap” is a term that trips neatly off the tongue, often used to describe banal differences between older and younger people in matters of cultural taste, approaches to work, political opinion, and myriad other features of social life. Just yesterday, The Times added sex to that list, telling us that Gen Z, compared to their elders, […]

The cult of Plastic Woman

How fantastic is life in plastic? I’m not talking about Barbie here, though of course the film’s defining moment is Gloria’s bitter feminist monologue: “I’m just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us.” I mean the longer-running cult of plasticity, popularised in the 2000s with […]

The rise of baby doomers

As the media cycle lurches from the promotion of one existential crisis to another, demography continues to dominate. In the UK, low birth rates and ageing populations mean we won’t be able to afford healthcare and pensions; we have too many of the “wrong type” of immigrants and too much of the “wrong type” of emigration. Of course, some countries […]

Covid jabs for kids is a bad idea

Many people won’t be familiar with epiglottitis. It nearly killed me when I was a baby. I was also very sick with measles in 1980, my first year of primary school, and contracted mumps as a teenager. One of my favourite teachers suffered from polio, so I was grateful to get the sugar-cube vaccine against […]

Talking about Generations: 5 questions to ask yourself

To mark National Intergenerational Week (8-14 March), the interdisciplinary Generations Network, led by academics at Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Surrey, has produced a guide to Talking about Generations. The guide presents five key questions to be considered by those working with the concept of generations, and three suggestions for avoiding the pitfalls […]

Letters on Liberty: Growing up in lockdown

In a contribution to the Academy of Ideas’ Letters on Liberty series, I argue that although the costs of lockdowns are tremendous, especially for young people, we should be wary of narratives that frame young people as especially vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic. This framing robs young people both of agency and of […]

Book launch: The Corona Generation

Watch Emma and I launch our book The Corona Generation: Coming of age in a crisis, in conversation with Ella Whelan, on YouTube here.

The woman question

There is a point in a young woman’s life when she suddenly ‘gets’ feminism, and it usually coincides with the birth of her first child. From girlhood to her late twenties, she has floated onwards and upwards on a gentle wave of sexual equality and female achievement, matching point for point her future partner’s educational […]

‘Pro-family’ politicians: a threat to the family

One of the great myths of British politics is that those who champion a liberal approach to abortion and divorce are ‘anti-family’, while those who wish to deny people the ability to have abortions and leave failed relationships are ‘pro-family’. To begin with, it is a myth in historical terms. Arguments that women should be […]